Although the U.S. has done some things right when it comes to foreign policy and military engagements, its practices of imperialism and manifest destiny have resulted in human rights abuses when it comes to groups like the Hawaiians, Filipinos, Native Americans, Mexicans, Vietnamese, etc. The following is a comprehensive analysis of U.S. history when it comes to foreign policy and military engagements for after all, those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it. The track record of the United States on foreign policy should prove cautionary to those eager to quickly engage the nation in future conflicts.
- 1 Good Wars
- 2 Bad Wars
- 2.1 Native Americans
- 2.2 Mexican-American War
- 2.3 Annexation of Hawaii
- 2.4 Annexation of the Phillipines
- 2.5 Vietnam War
- 2.6 Iraq War
- 2.7 Libya
- 3 Debatable
- 4 Sources
The Revolutionary War was fought because England insisted on taxing the colonies without providing them representation. The Declaration of Independence outlines a long list of the grievances that the settlers had against England.
Somerset Case and Potential Slavery Motivations
Nonetheless, not all of the colonists' intentions may have been wholly honorable. England had just issued a major ruling allowing the freeing of U.S. slaves once they reached British soil per Somerset v. Stewart (1772), and southern plantation owners may have been incentivized to rebel to protect the institution of slavery. In Knight v. Wedderburn (1778) the courts in Scotland held that slaves, once on free soil, became free and could not be returned as slaves to British colonies.
It was not just whites who enslaved blacks, but blacks who enslaved whites. African nations, like Native American and European nations (see e.g. the Volga Trade Route and Ottoman Slave Trade), would enslave their conquered enemies in war. Numerous Africans were sold by their enemies into slavery to Americans, but what is not commonly known is that African countries enslaved white Americans for sale in the African slave trade.
The Barbary Wars (1801-1805; 1815-1816) occurred because three North African Muslim nations, Tripoli, Tunis, and Algiers used their navies to hijack U.S. ships at the beginning of American history when it did not have a navy. Treaties with the three Islamic countries made at the time all show how much influence they held in the bargaining process. Nonetheless, the treaties were broken, resulting in the First and Second Barbary Wars to stop the enslavement of white Americans for the African slave trade.
A notable exception was Morocco which, unlike the other three nations, acknowledged the right of the fledgling U.S. government to exist. The U.S. treaty with Morocco is one of the United States' oldest unbroken treaties.
The Republican Union fought to free slaves while the South's Democrats fought on the side of the Confederacy to preserve slavery.
For decades afterwards, Republican Presidents were exclusively military leaders who had fought in the Civil War. Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877) had been the Union's Commanding General of the U.S. Army. Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-1881) was a Brevet Major General. James A. Garfield (1881) was a Major General. Chester A. Arthur (1881-1885) was a Quartermaster General. Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893) was a Brevet Brigadier General. William McKinley (1897-1901) was a Brevet Major. As the first Republican President in over 40 years to have not served in the Civil War, it's small wonder that Teddy Roosevelt (1901-1909) felt so much pressure to be a war hero, given his predecessors, that he engineered the Spanish-American War so he could lead the Rough Riders.
World War I
World War I began because Germany insisted on supporting Austria in an attempt to take over Europe. Germany slaughtered thousands of Belgian civilians in what is known as the Rape of Belgium and the U.S. only entered the war after Germany sank several U.S. ships including most notably the Lusitania, killing over a thousand innocent people.
World War II
As proud as the U.S. should be of its fight to eradicate a global evil like the Axis Powers, even in World War II its track record can hardly be identified as perfect or ideal.
Reluctance to Enter the War
World War II is a case where the U.S. was, if anything, too reluctant to take action against a global evil, the Axis Powers of Germany, Italy, and Japan. Franklin D. Roosevelt dragged his feet in bringing the U.S. into the war, allowing for numerous European countries to fall prey to Hitler's war machine and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, although the U.S. did manufacture equipment for the Allied Forces.
Turning Away Jewish Refugees
Then there is the matter of the U.S. turning away Jewish refugees seeking asylum from the Nazi Holocaust.
Japanese Internment Camps
One of the most shameful aspects of World War II occurred with the treatment of Japanese-American citizens, who were rounded up and forced into concentration camps along the west coast of the United States under FDR's executive order 9066.
U.S. history books have generally glossed over the crimes the U.S. government has perpetrated against Native Americans. Although some of the early colonies practiced peaceful and fair dealings with the Native Americans (see William Penn's 1682 Province of Pennsylvania and Roger Williams' 1641 Province of Rhode Island), they were exceptions, not the rule.
Penn and Williams' Peaceful Colonies
- See also Separation of Church and State
William Penn, founder of the Province of Pennsylvania in 1682 (which included modern-day Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware) walked among the Native Americans unarmed, learned their languages, and insisted on fairly purchasing land from them. Penn's Province of Pennsylvania proved the basis for the later U.S. Constitution.
|“||"Penn achieved peaceful relations with the Indians--Susquehannocks, Shawnees, and Leni-Lenape. Indians respected his courage, because he ventured among them without guards or personal weapons. He was a superior sprinter who could out-run Indian braves, and this helped win him respect. He took the trouble to learn Indian dialects, so he could conduct negotiations without interpreters. From the very beginning, he acquired Indian land through peaceful, voluntary exchange. Reportedly, Penn concluded a "Great Treaty" with the Indians at Shackamaxon, near what is now the Kensington district of Philadelphia. Voltaire hailed this as 'the only treaty between those people [Indians and Christians] that was not ratified by an oath, and that was never infringed.' His peaceful policies prevailed for about 70 years, which has to be some kind of record in American history."
Roger Williams in 1636 founded the Colony of Rhode Island, the earliest successful democracy on American soil, which included the principle of religious freedom (which he exposited in 'The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution for Cause of Conscience' - 1644) because he believed forced worship "stincks in God’s nostrils."
|“||"Eightly, God requireth not an uniformity of Religion to be inacted and inforced in any civill state; which inforced uniformity (sooner or later) is the greatest occasion of civill Warre, ravishing of conscience, persecution of Christ Jesus in his servants, and of the hypocrisie and destruction of millions of souls."
-Roger Williams, 'The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution for Cause of Conscience'
He also founded America's first Baptist Church in 1638, its first anti-slavery organization, and edited the first dictionary of Native American languages. Williams too walked among the Native Americans unarmed, learned their languages and dialects, and even surrendered himself as a hostage to negotiate peace on several occasions (in the cases of Pessicus in 1645 and Metacom in 1671). Despite his best efforts in 1675 to broker peace between the warring English and Native Americans after the English attacked Native American lands, during which he surrendered himself as a hostage to guarantee the safe return of Chief Metacom, war broke out with both sides committing horrific atrocities. A Wampanoag war party even showed up outside Providence, Rhode Island, and when Penn went out to talk with them, they left him unharmed but attacked and burned the city including Williams' own house. As Williams told them, "That house of mine now burning before mine eyes lodged kindly some thousands of you for these ten years." Left without recourse, Williams would finally turn military commander and defeat the neighboring tribes in battle to protect Rhode Island, driving them out of the area.
Other colonies and later states created treaties with the Natives that were broken, or took advantage of the language barrier to steal their land or otherwise defraud them. Examples include the Canandaigua Treaty of 1794 and Treaty K, signed during the Gold Rush, which California officials avoided keeping by pressuring the U.S. Senate to refuse ratification during the Gold Rush for the sake of monetary gain. In some cases the early British colonists even gave the Natives smallpox-infected blankets or poisoned their drinking water to kill men, women, and children indiscriminately.
Misconceptions on Scalping
Some Native American tribes were peaceful, such as the Narragansett tribe which welcomed Roger Williams, whereas others were warfaring, enslaving other tribes and killing women and children viciously. Although American culture has normalized the myth of vicious Native American warriors scalping their enemies, the practice was actually normalized (though not invented) by European settlers during the French and Indian War. The British and French forces hired Native American tribes to fight for them against one another, with scalping the method of keeping count, or coup, of how many enemies they had killed. In some cases, European settlers even practiced scalping themselves.
Trail of Tears
One of the worst genocidal actions by the U.S. government was perpetrated by President Andrew Jackson as part of his Indian removal policy. Between 1838 and 1839, 15,000 Cherokees were forcibly evicted from their tribal lands east of the Mississippi River by the U.S. government and forced at gunpoint to march across the United States to a reservation in Oklahoma. 4,000 Cherokees died of disease, fatigue, and starvation during the march.
Battle of Little Bighorn
Genocide Against the Cheyenne
Richard Hardorff in "Washita Memories: Eyewitness Views of Custer's Attack on Black Kettle's Village" describes how the U.S. government repeatedly betrayed the Cheyenne tribe, breaking treaty after treaty with them, before General Custer had them murdered in cold blood in what the 1924 Indian Bureau labeled genocide. As observed by the History Channel, "On November 26, Custer located a large village of Cheyenne encamped near the Washita River, just outside of present-day Cheyenne, Oklahoma. Custer did not attempt to identify which group of Cheyenne was in the village, or to make even a cursory reconnaissance of the situation. Had he done so, Custer would have discovered that they were peaceful people and the village was on reservation soil, where the commander of Fort Cobb had guaranteed them safety. There was even a white flag flying from one of the main dwellings, indicating that the tribe was actively avoiding conflict... Within a few hours, the village was destroyed–the soldiers had killed 103 Cheyenne, including the peaceful Black Kettle and many women and children. Hailed as the first substantial American victory in the Indian wars, the Battle of the Washita helped to restore Custer’s reputation and succeeded in persuading many Cheyenne to move to the reservation."
|“||"By 1861 Black Kettle realized that the survival of his people depended on peaceful relations with the whites and agreed to sign the Fort Wise Treaty, the first chief to do so. but his trust was shattered at Sand Creek in 1864 with the genocidal attack against innocent men, women, and children by Chivington's volunteer troops. Black Kettle's wife sustained nine bullet wounds but miraculously survived. In October 1865 government commissioners met with Black kettle, who spoke sorrowfully of the people who had died because they had trusted him, adding that his 'shame was as big as the earth.'
Despite the betrayal of his people, Black Kettle continued to pursue peaceful relations with the whites and signed the Treaty of the Little Arkansas, ceding all the lands between the Arkansas and Platte rivers. To compensate the Cheyennes for their sufferings at Sand Creek, each widow and orphan was granted 160 acres of land and each chief received a half-section on the Arkansas reservation. The land provisions were never fulfilled. During a council with Agent Wynkoop in 1866, Black Kettle requested restitution for the six hundred ponies lost at Sand Creek and the return of two Cheyenne children taken captive by Chivington's men. Neither request was honored. Despite threats from the powerful Dog Soldiers, the chief signed the Medicine Lodge Treaty in 1867, by which the Cheyennes agreed to accept a reservation in Indian Territory...
In October 1868 Black Kettle's band hunted buffalo near the Antelope Hills in the western part of present Oklahoma. Acting upon rumors of troop movements against the Cheyennes, Black Kettle and a small delegation traveled to Fort Coff for a conference with General Hazen. Their request to relocate their people nearer to the agency for protection was denied. Hazen advised them to return to their winter camps and to make peace with the soldiers of General Sheridan. Destiny would not give them that opportunity. on November 27 the bands of Black kettle and Little Rock were annihilated by Custer's brutal dawn attack. Black Kettle and his wife were among the first to die.""
Given General Custer's immoral slaughter of women and children to advance his reputation, it is fitting that his name is best remembered with shame after he walked into an ambush. While U.S. historybooks have long painted this as a "massacre" by vicious Indians, in fact it was Custer who was attempting to once again slaughter women and children. His own cruelty led to his demise. Custer just two years before the Battle of Little Bighorn boasted about how he used the tactic of threatening the lives of women and children to gain victory:
|“||Indians contemplating a battle, either offensive or defensive, are always anxious to have their women and children removed from all danger…For this reason I decided to locate our [military] camp as close as convenient to [Chief Black Kettle's Cheyenne] village, knowing that the close proximity of their women and children, and their necessary exposure in case of conflict, would operate as a powerful argument in favor of peace, when the question of peace or war came to be discussed.||”|
Lieutenant Edward Settle Godfrey concluded that Custer's unusual detour was part of an attempt to attack what he saw as an undefended camp of women and children, in a repeat of his attack on Black Kettle.
|“||"Custer... expected to find the squaws and children fleeing to the bluffs on the north, for in no other way do I account for his wide detour to the right. He must have counted upon Reno's success, and fully expected the 'scatteration' of the non-combatants with the pony herds. The probable attack upon the families and capture of the herds were in that event counted upon to strike consternation in the hearts of the warriors, and were elements for success upon which General Custer fully counted in the event of a daylight attack."||”|
Unaware of the number of troops below, Custer foolishly rushed to attack, and his 600 men were quickly overwhelmed by more than 3,000 Native Americans; less than an hour later Custer and all of his troops were dead.
1924 Indian Citizenship Act
The 1924 Indian Citizenship Act was signed into law by Republican President Calvin Coolidge following its passage by a Republican-run Congress, finally providing Native Americans with U.S. citizenship. However, no record of the vote count in either the House or Senate has been preserved.
It is little-known that the Mexican-American War occurred because Mexico outlawed slavery. As Frederick Douglass pointed out in his address at Belfast Ireland, Mexico originally opened its borders to modern-day Texas (then part of Mexico) because it had too much land and not enough settlers. Numerous Americans came in, many of them bringing their slaves. However, Mexico then outlawed slavery in 1829. The ex-American slaveholders attempted to circumvent this by declaring slaves indentured servants, but this too was outlawed by Mexico. Furious, the settlers, led by Sam Austin, petitioned the U.S. government, claiming that Texas wanted to cede from Mexico. U.S. President James Polk, along with the Democratic Party, acceded to the request, knowing that more slave states were needed to protect the institution of slavery at a time when free states were beginning to outnumber the slave states. Thus the U.S. started a war with Mexico to create more slave states out of the captured territory (Texas, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arizona, and Colorado).
Polk sent U.S. troops to the border between the U.S. and Texas to start a war, and then falsely claimed that Mexican troops attacked first. As a result, three U.S. Presidents all condemned the Mexican-American War because of Democrats' dishonesty in starting a war on false pretenses in the name of slavery, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, and John Quincy Adams. Ulysses S. Grant even expressed the view that the Civil War was God's divine punishment upon America for its unjust actions in the Mexican-American War, stating, "Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions. We got our punishment in the most sanguinary and expensive war of modern times."
To quote Frederick Douglass:
|“||"They accordingly took their families and slaves to Texas, from the blighted and blasted fields of Virginia—fields once fertile as any under Heaven—(hear)—and which would have still remained so had they not been cursed by the infernal spirit of slavery. We do not hear of much confusion in Texas, until 1828 or 1829, when Mexico after having erected herself into a separate government and declared herself free, with a consistency which puts to the blush the boasted “land of freedom,” proclaimed the deliverance of every captive on her soil. Unlike the boasted republic of America, she did this at an immense cost to her own slaveholders—not proclaiming liberty with her lips, while she fastened chains on the slave—not securing liberty for her own children but also for the degraded bondsman of Africa. This act of the Mexican government was resisted at once by the settlers who had carried their slaves into Texas, though they were bound by a solemn agreement to submit to the laws of Mexico. They remonstrated with the government. They said their slaves were too ignorant and degraded to be emancipated. The Mexican government, desirous to treat amicably with those whom it had welcomed to its bosom, listened to this remonstrance, and consented that the Texian slaves should be only gradually emancipated under a system of indentured apprenticeship. Even this restriction was evaded by the Texians, making the indentures binding for 99 years. In fact they showed themselves to be a set of swindlers.
Well, Mexico attempted an enforcement of her law, making it impossible for any man to hold an apprentice more than ten years. This was resisted on the plea that the slaves would not be fit for freedom even then. One would think ten years long enough to teach them the value of liberty, but these wise Americans could not understand how that could be the case. The Texians still persisted in holding their slaves, contrary to the express declaration of their legislature—contrary to the law of the land—to drive them before the biting lash to their hard tasks, day after day, without wages. Again, the Mexican Government attempted to enforce its law, but then Texas revolts—defies the law—and calls upon the people of the United States to aid her in, what they termed their struggle for religious liberty! Yes, they said they could not worship God according to the dictates of their conscience, alluding to the contract entered into by them as professing Roman Catholics. I am not prepared to say whether that contract was a righteous one or not, but, I do say, that after possessing themselves of the land, on the faith of their being Roman Catholics, they should be the last to complain on that score. If they had been honest, they would have said, in regard to their religious opinions, “We have changed our minds; we feel we cannot longer belong to the Church of Rome; we cannot, according to our contract, worship God as our conscience dictates; many of us are Methodists—many are Presbyterians; if you will allow us to worship God as we think right, we will stay in the soil; if not, we feel compelled to abandon it, and seek some other place.” That is the way that common honesty would force them to act, but the people of the United States—and here is one of the darkest acts of their whole history—understanding the terms upon which the Texians had obtained the territory, and well-knowing the exact nature of the contract—offered them the means of successfully resisting Mexico—afforded them arms and ammunition, and even the men who. at San Jacinto, wrested the territory from the rightful owners. Here was an act of national robbery perpetrated, and for what? For the re-establishment of slavery on a soil which had been washed pure from its polluting influence by the generous act of a “semibarbarous” people!
The man who goes into your ship on the high seas, puts out the captain, takes down the ensign and declares himself the owner—is no greater robber than the people of the United States. And what are their excuses, their apologies, their reasons—for they always give reasons for what they do? One of them is, that Mexico is unable to defend her territory, and that therefore they have a right to take it! What do you think of a great heavy-fisted fellow pouncing on every little man he meets, and giving as his reason that the little man is unable to take care of himself? We don’t see this pretext made use of in the case of Canada. Mexico, nevertheless, is a sister republic, which has taken that of the United States for a model. But Mexico is a weak government, and that is the reason America falls on her—the British territories are safe because England is strong.
Oh, how superlatively base—how mean—how dastardly—do the American people appear in the light of justice—of reason—of liberty—when this particular point of her conduct is exposed! But here there was a double point to be gained—on the part of the Southern planters to establish and cultivate large plantations in the South—and on that of the Northern ones, to support what Daniel O’Connell says should not be called the internal, but the infernal, slave-trade, which is said to be worse than the foreign slave-trade, for it allows men to seize upon those who have sported with them on the hills, and played with them at school, and are associated with them in so many ways and under so many interesting circumstances. This is more horrible still than to prowl along the African shore and carry off thence men with whose faces at least we are unfamiliar, and to whose characters we are strangers. Still the chief object of the Annexation of Texas was the quickening of the foreign slave-trade, which is the very jugular vein of slavery, and of which, if kept within narrow limits, we would soon be rid. But the cry of slavery is ever “Give, give, give!” That cry is heard from New England to Virginia. It goes on, leaving a blighted soil behind—leaving the fields which it found fertile and luxuriant, covered with stunted pines. From Virginia it has gone to North Carolina, and from that to South Carolina, leaving ruin in its train, and now it seizes on the fertile regions of Texas, where it had been previously abolished by a people whom we are wont to call semi-civilized. They say they only want to increase their commerce, and add to their security. Oh what a reason to give for plunder! The pirate of the high seas might make the same excuse."
-Frederick Douglass, 1846
Opposition by U.S. Presidents and Republican Party
|“||“Before long, however, the same people -- who with permission of Mexico had colonized Texas, and afterwards set up slavery there, and then seceded as soon as they felt strong enough to do so -- offered themselves and the State to the United States, and in 1845 their offer was accepted. The occupation, separation and annexation were, from the inception of the movement to its final consummation, a conspiracy to acquire territory out of which slave states might be formed for the American Union… The Southern rebellion was largely the outgrowth of the Mexican war. Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions. We got our punishment in the most sanguinary and expensive war of modern times.”
-President Ulysses S. Grant
"You have been, if you are not now, at the very point of a war with Mexico — a war, I am sorry to say, so far as public rumor may be credited, stimulated by provocations on our part, from the very commencement of this administration, down to the recent authority given to General Gaines to invade the Mexican territory. It is said that one of the earliest acts of the administration was a proposal, made at a time when there was already much ill-humor in Mexico against the United States, that she should cede to the United States a very large portion of her territory — large enough to constitute nine States, equal in extent to Kentucky.
It must be confessed that a device better calculated to produce jealousy, suspicion, ill-will, and hatred, could not have been contrived. It is further affirmed, that this overture, offensive in itself, was made precisely at the time when a swarm of colonists, from these United States were covering the Mexican border with land-jobbing, and with slaves, introduced in defiance of the Mexican laws, by which slavery had been abolished throughout that republic. The war now raging in Texas is a Mexican civil war, and a war for the re-establishment of slavery where it was abolished. It is not a servile war, but a war between slavery and emancipation, and every possible effort has been made to drive us into the war, on the side of slavery.”
-President John Quincy Adams
“Some, if not all the gentlemen on, the other side of the House, who have addressed the committee within the last two days, have spoken rather complainingly, if I have rightly understood them, of the vote given a week or ten days ago, declaring that the war with Mexico was unnecessarily and unconstitutionally commenced by the President [James K Polk]. I admit that such a vote should not be given, in mere party wantonness, and that the one given, is justly censurable, if it have no other, or better foundation. I am one of those who joined in that vote; and I did so under my best impression of the truth of the case…. And if, so answering, he [President Polk] can show that the soil was ours, where the first blood of the war was shed—that it was not within an inhabited country, or, if within such, that the inhabitants had submitted themselves to the civil authority of Texas, or of the United States, and that the same is true of the site of Fort Brown, then I am with him for his justification… But if he cannot, or will not do this—if on any pretence, or no pretence, he shall refuse or omit it, then I shall be fully convinced, of what I more than suspect already, that he is deeply conscious of being in the wrong, that he feels the blood of this war, like the blood of Abel, is crying to Heaven against him. That originally having some strong motive—what, I will not stop now to give my opinion concerning—to involve the two countries in a war, and trusting to escape scrutiny, by fixing the public gaze upon the exceeding brightness of military glory—that attractive rainbow, that rises in showers of blood—that serpent’s eye, that charms to destroy he plunged into it, and has swept, on and on, till, disappointed in his calculation of the ease with which Mexico might be subdued, he now finds himself, he knows not where. How like the half insane mumbling of a fever-dream, is the whole war part of his late message! At one time telling us that Mexico has nothing whatever, that we can get, but territory; at another, showing us how we can support the war, by levying contributions on Mexico.”
-President Abraham Lincoln
Annexation of Hawaii
In 1887 a group of cabinet officials and advisors to King Kalakaua along with an armed militia staged a coup against the ruling monarchy, the Kingdom of Hawaii, which had been recognized as an independent nation by France and Britain since 1843.
Between 1893 and 1898 the U.S. government backed a coup against the Kingdom of Hawaii and its Native residents. U.S. immigrants in the kingdom called upon John L. Stevens, a Republican politician and Hawaiian ambassador, to help take over Hawaii. Stevens had the Marines sent in to depose the Queen of Hawaii's government, resulting in her surrender to avoid loss of life for her subjects. Republican President Benjamin Harrison initially supported the annexation, but when President Grover Cleveland, a Democrat, took office, he initially rejected the annexation and forced an investigation. The resulting Blount Report criticized the U.S. government's overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii and the businessmen who had plotted the whole ordeal.
|“||"In January 1893, a group of American-born businessmen and sugar magnates staged a coup against the Hawaiian Queen Lili’uokalani. Backed by American marines, the insurgents forced the Queen to abdicate and dissolve the Kingdom of Hawaii, setting the former island nation on the path to eventual statehood. While the coup’s backers quickly declared the country a new Republic, their true goal was to be annexed by the U.S. They got their wish in 1898, when Hawaii was formally annexed by the U.S. and administered as a territory until 1959."||”|
However, when the Spanish-American War broke out, Cleveland conceded to Congressional pressure and annexed Hawaii because the U.S. needed a military base in the Pacific. In 1993 Congress issued the Apology Resolution formally apologizing for the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii, one of the few times the U.S. has formally apologized for its actions.
Annexation of the Phillipines
The U.S. actions towards the Philippines were the result of the U.S. victory in the Spanish-American War. The Spanish-American War occurred because Cuba, previously a holding of the Spanish government, rebelled against Spain in a 3-year war for independence. Following the mysterious explosion and sinking of the U.S. battleship Maine off the coast of Havana, the U.S. declared war against Spain. The 4-month war, instigated in part by future President Teddy Roosevelt, who led the 'Rough Riders' into combat, resulted in the Treaty of Paris as Spain ceded Guam and Puerto Rico to the U.S., and sold the Philippines for $20 million.
However, the Spanish sale of the Philippines did not guarantee Filipino cooperation. On February 4, 1899, two days before the U.S. Senate ratified the Treaty of Paris, armed conflict broke out between U.S. forces and Filipino rebels led by Emilio Aguinaldo seeking independence. By the time the three-year war concluded, 4,200 American soldiers, 20,000 Filipino militants, and 200,000 Filipino civilians had died, the latter as the result of "violence, famine, and disease."
Atrocities were perpetrated by both sides during the war:
|“||"The war was brutal on both sides. U.S. forces at times burned villages, implemented civilian reconcentration policies, and employed torture on suspected guerrillas, while Filipino fighters also tortured captured soldiers and terrorized civilians who cooperated with American forces."||”|
After the Filipinos adopted guerilla warfare tactics against the vastly superior U.S. military, the U.S. resorted to a strategy called the 'policy of attraction' to defeat the rebels through cultural means.
|“||"Even as the fighting went on, the colonial government that the United States established in the Philippines in 1900 under future President William Howard Taft launched a pacification campaign that became known as the 'policy of attraction.' Designed to win over key elites and other Filipinos who did not embrace Aguinaldo’s plans for the Philippines, this policy permitted a significant degree of self-government, introduced social reforms, and implemented plans for economic development. Over time, this program gained important Filipino adherents and undermined the revolutionaries’ popular appeal, which significantly aided the United States’ military effort to win the war. In 1907, the Philippines convened its first elected assembly, and in 1916, the Jones Act promised the nation eventual independence. The archipelago became an autonomous commonwealth in 1935, and the U.S. granted independence in 1946."||”|
- See also Civil Rights
The Vietnam War was pushed by Democrat President Lyndon B. Johnson, a racist who had Martin Luther King wiretapped and ultimately assassinated by the FBI's J. Edgar Hoover. The FBI sent King a letter demanding he commit suicide, and then issued a false report accusing him of being a communist within weeks of his assassination. The FBI under Hoover had numerous other civil rights figures assassinated during Johnson's tenure as President from 1963 to 1969.
The Viet Minh, a Communist government in Vietnam founded by Ho Chi Minh, was formed during World War II to fight off not only the Japanese forces/Axis Powers but also the French colonial forces which had previously subjugated Vietnam. France then backed Bao Dai as a colonial emperor to form a South Vietnamese government, but he was then ousted by Ngo Dinh Diem. Diem's repressive rule saw around 100,000 people arrested, many of them brutally tortured and executed. Nonetheless, the U.S. under Presidents Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson backed Diem authoritarian regime in an effort to oppose Communism.
Ngo Dinh Diem and Ngo Dinh Du Assassinated
- See also Assassinations Timeline
The leader of South Vietnam, a repressive dictator, and his brother, who had been backed by Kennedy's administration to counter the North Vietnamese Communist government of Ho Chi Minh, were both assassinated. Although U.S. officials declaimed responsibility, it was later revealed that U.S. officials organized the assassination. The resulting instability would serve as the pretext for Lyndon B. Johnson to begin the Vietnam War. The assassinations are part of a broader trend of assassinations by Lyndon B. Johnson and FBI head J. Edgar Hoover from 1963 to 1969. Most of those assassinated were leaders of the civil rights movement or the assassins themselves.
Gulf of Tonkin Incident
The Vietnam War began because of a likely-fabricated attack on U.S. destroyers that had been sent near Vietnamese waters. According to James Stockdale, the destroyers were shooting at nothing, and declassified documents have since revealed the Gulf of Tonkin incident was likely faked to start a war with Vietnam. Following the phony attack, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution authorizing war with North Vietnam.
Hillary Clinton's leaked emails show that Libya, previously a colony of France, was attempting to break free of French financial control by establishing its own pan-African currency using a private stash of gold and silver worth $7 billion owned by Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi. Such a move endangered the French financial system which controls Africa using the franc. The emails, dated April 11th, 2011 record the French rush to attack Libya because of the Gaddafi's intention to replace French currency with his own.
Theft of Gaddafi's Gold
Less than three weeks after the email, the Obama Administration announced the use of drone strikes on Libya. Just weeks earlier, Obama had initiated war against Libya. In doing so, Obama committed one of the most impeachable actions of his presidency, instituting war via executive order without the consent of Congress when there was no national emergency. It is unclear what happened to Gaddafi's fortune.
|“||"Qaddafi's government holds 143 tons of gold, and a similar amount in silver. During late March, 2011 these stocks were moved to SABHA (south west in the direction of the Libyan border with Niger and Chad); taken from the vaults of the Libyan Central Bank in Tripoli.
This gold was accumulated prior to the current rebellion and was intended to be used to establish a pan-African currency based on the Libyan golden Dinar. This plan was designed to provide the Francophone African Countries with an alternative to the French franc (CFA).
(Source Comment: According to knowledgeable individuals this quantity of gold and silver is valued at more than $7 billion. French intelligence officers discovered this plan shortly after the current rebellion began, and this was one of the factors that influenced President Nicolas Sarkozy's decision to commit France to the attack on Libya. According to these individuals Sarkozy's plans are driven by the following issues:
a. A desire to gain a greater share of Libya oil production,
b. Increase French influence in North Africa,
c. Improve his internal political situation in France,
d. Provide the French military with an opportunity to reassert its position in the world,
e.Address the concern of his advisors over Qaddafi's long term plans to supplant France as the dominant power in Francophone Africa.)"
-Email From Sidney Blumenthal to Hillary Clinton, April 2, 2011.
Bay of Pigs Operation
The U.S. under Democrat President John F. Kennedy funded a mission to overthrow Cuban President Fidel Castro, and organized a clandestine operation known as the Bay of Pigs, funding exiled Cuban rebels to invade Cuba. Exiled cuban rebels were transported by planes and ships to attack Cuban airfields with the intent of toppling the Cuban government. The operation went poorly due to the strategies of Castro's head tactician Che Guevara, was exposed, and naturally made the U.S. look horrible in the process.
Undeterred, the U.S. government funded another attempt at bringing down Castro's government, overseen by Robert F. Kennedy. Operation Mongoose was intended to incite revolution against Castro through espionage and sabotage. Needless to say, it similarly failed.
Nonetheless, the U.S. in seeking to overthrow Castro for a broader political goal was doing to Castro's regime only what the Castro regime was doing to other countries in the name of Communism. Castro and Che Guevara had earlier brought their forces to Cuba, toppling the government after years of guerrilla warfare, to force their Marxist beliefs on other countries. Although Cuba's government did produce some reforms in the name of helping the people like mass education, it did so by stifling democratic freedoms such as speech.
Guevara, a brilliant strategist whose forces had outfought ten times as many troops in Cuba, attempted to repeat the success in Cuba by invading both Angola and Bolivia with guerrilla forces in an effort to spread Communism across the globe. However, the native populations were unsympathetic to Communism while the CIA tracked his every move, intervening at key points, resulting in Guevara's execution in Bolivia.
As such, the U.S. actions attempting to topple Castro's regime were no more imperialistic than those of Castro himself. It is difficult to criticize the actions of the U.S. towards Castro without questioning Castro's own toppling of the original Cuban government via foreign interference while attempting to alter governments worldwide.
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